File:Portrait of Margaret Bayard Smith, by Charles Bird King.jpg|thumbnail|Margaret Smith
'''Margaret Bayard Smith''' (20 February 1778 – 7 June 1844) was a successful author and politician in a time when women lived under strict gender roles. Her writings and relationships shaped both politics and society in early Washington. Mrs. Smith began writing books in the 1820s: a two-volume novel in 1824 called ''A Winter in Washington, or Memoirs of the Seymour Family,'' another novel in 1825, ''What is Gentility?.'' She also wrote several biographies including ''Dolley Madison.'' Her literary reputation, however, comes primarily from a collection of her letters and notebooks written from 1800 to 1841 and published in 1906 by Gaillard Hunt as ''The First Forty Years of Washington Society.''